Overhead Contact Line Measurement and Diagnostics System

Łukasiewicz Research Network – Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements PIAP offers the SPDST-01 system which allows to carry out a traction network diagnostics.

Overhead Contact Line Measurement and Diagnostics System – SPDST-01 – enables contact wire use-up measurement, contact wire offset measurement and contact wire suspension height measurement. Owing to the system, it is possible to check such overhead contact line parameters as the quality of contact between the collector and the overhead contact line, contact wire suspension height and differences in the height of adjacent suspensions, contact wire offset and wear and tear (if the vehicle is equipped with a suitable measuring device), as well as the general condition of the overhead contact line.

In its basic design, the developed system consists of:

  • a proprietary laser scanner for measuring wear and tear as well as offset,
  • height sensors for suspension height measurement and body tilt compensation,
  • a distance transducer for triggering and synchronising the measurements,
  • a central unit made as a handy suitcase.


In order to reduce costs, individual components of the system are mounted on the existing equipment of the network train. The laser scanner is mounted on the measuring pantograph, the distance transmitter on the unpowered wheel, one distance sensor on the pantograph and one sensor each on the left and right-hand sides of the wagon/train. The key component of the system is a laser scanner equipped with a laser tracking head that follows the contact wire, scanning the area of space within it.

Measurement triggering can be done s part of two modes: manual – by pressing a button, or automatic – via a signal from the path transmitter. The system can be developed to provide on-line access to the measurements by logging the measurements to a remote server, which will protect against data loss and allow for global databases to be maintained for comprehensive assessment of the contact wire condition and wear prediction. The system can also be equipped with a satellite navigation system.